First off, THANK YOU for all the insightful and wise comments on my last post. Confessing all those worries and struggles, combined with the healing balm of your words served as an excellent cure. Last night was another fun filled rollercoaster ride on the screaming express, but both Jeff and I are finding ourselves with renewed insight and ability to respond with more neutrality. Also, this wine has helped. Thanks Brigit.
In terms of gaining success, parents or not, this video offers a better measuring stick.
These past couple of weeks, our family has found itself racing down the path with Peter Cottontail. With the dawning of spring, we have been celebrating the renewal in nature effortlessly. Perhaps more so than the subtle magic of winter time, with its slow pace and hibernative energy, the bursting forth of vernal life is something young children naturally connect to. Here are some tiny glimpses into what that looks like so far, and I hope to have some sweet traditions to share after Easter Sunday.
The week of the equinox, Fern and I spent a little time each day making our own approximation of an egg tree.
I blew out the eggs (Like blowing balloons and your nose at the same time. Gruesome.) and then we “dipped” them. I used turmeric for the yellow, but regular food coloring and vinegar for the rest. You can easily use plants to create your own dyes…we just didn’t have any on hand.
Years ago I picked up someone’s butterfly collection at a yard sale. Pressed between pieces of waxed paper were 40 or so little beauties. I have wondered what to do with them…
I gingerly painted them on using glossy Mod-Podge. Believe it or not, Fern was present for each step of the project and helped, exhibiting incredible gentleness. I enjoyed watching her little hands cup the shells more than the craft itself. I half expected her to crush them in some moment of toddler fury…being surprised is another good reminder of the intransigence of the parenting experience.
I feel inspired to save each year’s eggs, adding to the new one’s creations, the tree gaining in size to match Fern’s growing up. I also want to get a new nesting egg every spring, like the one that came in a box of Easter goodness from Grandma Timmins (Thanks Kathy!! You intuited just what we wanted.).
Weather watchers are calling the past month “Miracle March”, since we have gotten a whole season’s supply of rain in one go. Fern’s new favorite activity is to strip down and embrace the downpours. I imagine she is soaking in the drops like the thirsty earth.
Afterwards, she needs a hot wink (drink), a snuggly nest and some stories.
So many children’s books lend themselves to this theme of renewal and rebirth. Here are a few of our circulating favorites.
My favorite forever and ever.
Spring is a New Beginning by Anglund.
I get all choked up, every time.
OKAY said Algernon.
And of course you do, but just in case you don’t know him…Once upon a time in Spain, there was a little bull and his name was Ferdinand.
Finally the sun came out and all of nature rejoiced.
I love BEE-dy eyes. Ceanothus.
Guess who else likes Sour Grass?
On our walks and in the garden, she is showing me how much she has learned, the knowledge soaking in like sunshine. She helps me collect chickweed, she nibbles Miner’s Lettuce without prompting, she sees illustrations of flowers and can identify them. She carries baskets everywhere she goes, both in her hands and in her mind. Admidst the storms that change brings, I am witness to strange tidings…the night waking where no “Nummy nums” were demanded, a morning of no clinginess as she self-entertains. These balance out the barely tolerable moments, and there are other bits of her inner beauty that stop me in my tracks…they are impossible to hold tightly, like an eggshell or a butterfly…but I am deeply grateful for each one that flutters by and alights. Then, it’s back on the trail again.
How are you celebrating Spring?
P.S. I met Debbie over at Ringlet Leader while at the playground a couple of weeks ago. She featured me last Friday in her “Playground Chic Look of the Week.”. She’s super fun (and curly!)…check her out.